As Northwestern University tries to decide what to do with the century-old Roycemore School campus, some campus neighbors have definite ideas about what they don’t want.
A handful of neighbors, speaking at a sparsely attended 1st Ward meeting Tuesday night, said they’d prefer that the university turn the classroom buildings on the site at 640 Lincoln St. into offices for administrators.
And, although zoning for the property permits use of the site as dorms, speakers at the meeting said they definitely don’t want that.
While the buildings have been used as classrooms for elementary and high school students for generations, most speakers weren’t keen on the idea of having the building used for college classes.
The neighbors, mostly long-time activists who frequently urge that student housing only be permitted east of Sheridan Road, complained that noise of students’ late-night partying — or their travelling back and forth from classess — would disrupt the tranquility of their single-family homes in the blocks just west of Sheridan.
The city has somewhat hamstrung potential redevelopment of the site by declaring most of the buildings on it local landmarks, and Ron Nayler, the university’s associate vice president of facilities management, told the group, meeting at the library downtown, that the university only plans to restore the landmarked buildings.
But he said the school has not determined a use for the property, once Roycemore moves to its new location at 1200 Davis St., a move that could come as early as the end of this year.
And he added that the school might ultimately replace a home on the site that does not have landmark status.